Even with the right preparation, there is no guarantee you won’t face a curveball when it comes time for your interview. While most candidates assume the trickiest part of the process will come in the form of an unexpected question, it could actually come in the shape of the interviewer.
In the best of circumstances, you’ll be seated across from a polite professional when you interview for a position, letting the conversation flow naturally and comfortably. However, you can also end up facing interviewers like those listed here, which require and adjustment to your approach. To help you navigate these tricky interviewers, here is what you need to know.
The Quiet Ones
Some interviewers seem to be automatons, showing little emotion and offering the bare minimum of input. Others simply come off as nervous, approaching the entire process with trepidation. In these cases, you aren’t necessarily going to get much in the way of positive feedback, so you need to focus on being clear and concise. Do your best to answer each question with a smile and don’t take their approach personally.
The Energetic Ones
Whether they tend to spend a lot of time making jokes or seem to be operating at full throttle, energetic interviewers can feel like a handful. The jokers don’t always seem to be taking the process seriously, leaving you to wonder if they are more interested in pushing your buttons than determining if you are the right fit. Those that tend to be on the hyper side can come off as intense, and may even talk over you to tell you their stories.
In both of these cases, it can be hard to tell if you are really being heard or if they are more interested in having their chance to interject. Since you may not have as much time to actually get an answer out, keep things short and sweet at first, then expand if they don’t automatically attempt to jump in to add their two cents.
The Serious Ones
At times, an interview may feel more like an interrogation than a conversation. You may be sitting across from an interviewer that appears to be doing their best to trick you with nonstandard questions or one that exudes a feeling of annoyance the entire time.
While you can try to lighten the mood with a quick quip (as long as it’s professional), don’t be surprised if it doesn’t help. Remember, you don’t have to make friends in an interview, just keep things concrete and factual and, if you are faced with a trick question, don’t feel like you have to rush just because you’re feeling the pressure.
There is a wide range of interviewer personalities you may come across during a job search, and there’s no way to be prepared for every one you may face. Just take a cue from their behavior, and adjust your approach accordingly. And, no matter what you do, don’t take their attitude personally as it likely has nothing at all to do with you. Concentrate on getting your message across and then smile as you head out the door.